TikTok star parades around White House to boost vaccines

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TikTok star parades around White House to boost vaccines

The White House has enlisted “Gen Z” social media influencer Benny Drama in the push to get young Americans vaccinated, with a parody video of him parading around as Jen Psaki’s “intern.”

The comedic influencer, whose real name is Benito Skinner, uploaded a new video on TikTok and Instagram late Monday co-starring the White House press secretary.

The video, which was filmed around the White House, features Drama’s “Kooper the Gen Z Intern” character wearing a white skirt and flashing his long nails.

It had been viewed more than 2.7 million times on TikTok and 850,000 times on Instagram as of Tuesday morning.

“Hi my name is Kooper and this is the day in my life as a White House intern,” the video starts.

Benny Drama White House
Donald Trump Jr. led the criticism on social media over the video.
@bennydrama7/Instagram

At one point, Drama enters Psaki’s office declaring: “Jenny, I booked you a nail appointment love.”

She responds: “I didn’t tell you to do that.”

“It’s called initiative,” he quips back.

Psaki features again in the video when she starts talking about COVID vaccinations.

Jen Psaki TikTok
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also appeared in the video.
@bennydrama7/Instagram

“We’ve come a long way in our fight against this virus. We’ve vaccinated 160 million Americans. Are you getting this all down?” she asks him.

Drama also speaks of vaccines in the video, telling someone on the phone as he sits with his feet up on a desk: “We need to get shots in the arms of every single American.”

At various other points, Drama is shown floating down the halls of the White House screaming, “We did it Joe,” and, “Is Olivia Rodrigo still here?”

The video was filmed prior to the CDC changing its guidelines on mask wearing last month, Drama said when he posted the video.

Olivia Rodrigo
Drama jokingly asks in the video if Olivia Rodrigo was still there, after the teen pop star appeared at the White House recently.
Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. led the criticism on social media over the video with the former first son saying: “Next they’re going to waterboard you till you get vaccinated, though there’s no way that would be worse than watching this!!!”

Others slammed the use of taxpayers dollars to create the video.

“I guess ‘returning to normal’ entailed flamboyant male interns, paid for by our tax dollars, making obnoxious TikToks—dancing around the White House wearing fake acrylic nails. Sad!,” a user said.

“This video gave me breakthrough Covid,” another tweeted.

Benny Drama TikTok
The video was filmed in an attempt to get young Americans vaccinated.
@bennydrama7/Instagram

It is the White House’s latest attempt to appeal to younger generations after Psaki also invited Rodrigo — an 18-year-old pop sensation — to the podium during a press briefing last month to talk about vaccines.

“First I want to say I am beyond honored and humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of COVID vaccinations,” Rodrigo said at the time.

“I am in awe of the work that President Biden and Dr. Fauci have done and I am happy to help them by supporting this important initiative.”

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